Denise Goldberg's blog

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Calming, birds, ocean

Do you ever have moody days for no apparent reason? I don't have them very often, but today was one of those days, I was in a bit of a funk...

Why? That's a bit of a mystery. Maybe I'm letting the cool spring weather (when I yearn for warmth) get to me... Maybe it's thoughts of my brother... Maybe it's the fact that I haven't yet settled on a vacation for this year... Maybe it's... well, I probably don't need to continue. You get the point don't you?

Even with my funky, moody start, it turned out to be a good day. I knew I needed a little bit of a change, but I also knew that I needed to ride. So I started my "don't sit at home" day with a chilly morning ride. It's actually quite easy to dress for riding when the temperature is hovering in the mid-40s (even when I wanted it to be a good 10 to 15 degrees warmer).

Wearing warm layers, rolling down the road, loops, heading in different directions on a whim, moving, relaxing...

Home; it was time for dry clothes and a quick bite to eat before I headed out again. My camera jumped into my hand, and I headed to the coast. Walking by the ocean and visiting with the birds sounded like a good idea.

It was an afternoon of good timing. Just as I pulled up to the marshy area where I've seen the mute swans before, a pair of these great white birds pulled in close to shore. Ah, that's a good starting point.

I visited with the mute swans from afar for a while. After all, they are big birds that need their own space. I watched, quietly crouching by the edge of the road, not to close, but close enough. The birds came closer, then they moved on. It was time for me to wander over to the ocean side of the road, to walk on the beach for a while.

Back to the seasonal home (hang-out?) of the mute swans. Oh look, a pair of birds are paddling to the north, and there's a single mute swan down at the southern end of the marshy area. I've never seen more than two of these great birds here before. I started to walk in the direction of the single bird, stopping to take in the beautiful scene.

A woman bearing a (serious) camera and a big plastic jar of dried corn neared the edge of the water. She called to the single mute swan - Snort! Snort! (And no, she wasn't making funny sounds; that's his name!) She came closer, and we started talking. Ann and I have met before, early in 2006 - actually the first time that I met these marvelous birds. She is a photographer specializing in birds and wildlife; talking with her was fascinating. I love learning about the creatures around us. Unfortunately she told me that Snort lost his lifelong mate this year; that's sad. He was clearly staking out his territory, protecting the corn that Ann dropped in the water for him, indicating to some wandering ducks that this was his space. Ann says that he is more likely to come close when she is alone, but as we sat on the ground (in an attempt to minimize our human presence), Snort ventured closer, floating, paddling, helping himself to corn. Hey Snort, I'll be back again someday. I hope that you'll be here to greet me.

Hey - what are you? Why are you on land? Can you walk on water?

Paddling with one foot is a great trick, isn't it?

Look, there's water dripping from my foot! I wonder why...

Yes, there absolutely are more pictures! If you're interested, you can view them in my gallery Mute swans roaming, May 2007.

Visions of the ocean at high tide, calming small waves, sea gulls soaring, wading, playing... Quiet non-ocean waters, ducks, more sea gulls, mute swans, floating, paddling...

Escaping to the sea was a good tonic for me today.